Friday, 23 July 2010

The Decision

As a keen gardener I have a constant battle against predators. Not just the normal things such as slugs, snails, aphids, lily beetles etc etc., most of which I largely ignore these days - but those large even-toed ungulates, commonly known as deer. Living in rural Surrey this is hardly surprising and most of our neighbours have six foot high stock fencing to keep them out.
However, my husband (not a keen gardener) is firmly opposed to this, preferring an open frontage to the garden. In the past, I have tried all sorts of deer repellents such as human hair (in small net bags hung around the boundary), human urine (also around the boundary), ultra-sonic devices (emit a high pitched sound), lion dung (commercially prepared pellets impregnated with lion poo smell (allegedly)) and others that I have since forgotten about.
You won't be surprised to learn that none of these worked - my roses, pansies, fuschias, sedum, crocus and others plants were still being decimated. The only deer proofing that really works is a high fence and of course to accompany the fence - gates are needed which makes the whole project very, very expensive. I have attempted to fence (very amateurishly) a small area at the back of the house which extends into woodland, so I could grow what I wanted but recently this keeps being breached.
So....I have reached a decision. Instead of trying to battle against the enemy why not concede and live in harmony with the local wildlife. I don't really NEED to grow roses, there are plenty of other flowers, plants and shrubs that they don't eat. There is also some argument for alternative browsing i.e. planting things they do like so they leave others alone.
Actually, it's really quite exciting - I can feel a visit to the garden centre coming on.


Inner Whispers said...

I think that's a beautiful idea, Lori! Here we're really close to Hampstead Heath and the people who run it and take care of it suggest neighbours try to have gardens of local flora to encourage bees, birds etc, and to prevent weird seeds of things that might try to take over. Living in tune with our environment rather than trying to control it or make it into something it isn't! Good luck at the Garden Centre :)

Lori Green said...

Thanks for taking the time to comment. You're absolutely right about living in tune with our environment. I actively encourage bees, birds & butterflies and the squirrels don't do too badly either. A friend was telling me the other day that she kills moles by hitting them over the head with a golf club which quite sickened me to my stomach. We have given her a secret nickname now "mole-murderer" and I have gone off her as well. :-)